India dismiss Smith before rain break

India claimed the wicket of South African captain Graeme Smith before rain stopped play on the first morning of the third and final Test at Newlands on Sunday.

South Africa were 21 for one at lunch. Only 44 minutes of play was possible after Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni sent South Africa in to bat under a heavily overcast sky.

With the series locked at one-all, play started on time despite early morning rain. Dhoni called correctly for the first time in the series and followed the example of Smith in the first two Tests by sending his opponents in. The pitch looked greener than usual for Newlands.

Alviro Petersen made a confident start by hitting two boundaries in Sree Sreesanth’s first over, a clip to the square leg boundary followed by an off-drive for four when Sreesanth over-pitched.

The left-armed Khan gave both batsmen problems, however, bowling a probing length and making the ball move both ways.

He got his reward when Smith played around a delivery which struck him on the back pad to win a leg before wicket decision from umpire Simon Taufel.

A rain squall swept in soon after Smith’s dismissal. Although the rain stopped after about half an hour, the umpires decided at take an early lunch, with play due to resume at 1245 local time (1045GMT).

In the only change from the teams which played in the second Test in Durban, which India won by 87 runs, Indian opening batsman Gautam Gambhir returned from injury in place of Murali Vijay.